Autumn, Winter, Light Meals, Soup, Sides

Creamy Butter Beans with Leeks & Tarragon

This is a hug-in-a-bowl kind of recipe. Beans are so, so good for us – they're high in protein, amino acids and antioxidants, heart healthy, and a significate source of vitamins and minerals, as well as delicious, super versatile and filling! We should be consuming legumes or pulses every day, and this is a great way of getting them onto your plate.

Here, I've sautéed down a couple of leeks with a little garlic until soft and sweet, and added some herbs. Tarragon has to be my favourite pairing with leeks, but dill or parsley are lovely too. Then, I've added a large jar of the best butter beans, some veggie stock, and a good pinch of seasoning – and that’s pretty much it.

I find that if I add a flurry of fresh herbs, a drizzle of chilli oil, a scattering of lemon zest and some pangrattato before serving, it becomes next-level delicious. Enjoy!



For the pangrattato

2 slices of bread, toasted and blitzed to a crumb

½ clove garlic, finely chopped

3 tbsp nutritional yeast, or vegan parmesan of your choice, finely grated

Zest of 1 lemon

2 tsp olive oil

½ tsp sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp dried or finely chopped fresh herbs of your choice (optional)

For the beans

2 good-sized leeks

2 tbsp olive oil

Knob of plant-based butter

1 tsp sea salt

2 cloves garlic, grated

Small bunch of tarragon or other soft herbs, such as parsley or dill, roughly chopped

1 x 600g jar butter beans, drained and rinsed

400ml vegetable stock

A good grinding of black pepper

To finish (optional)

Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or chilli oil

Chilli flakes

Zest of ½ lemon

Thick slices of buttered toast


  1. First, make your pangrattato. Stir together all the ingredients, and either toast lightly in a pan until dry and fragrant, or spread across a baking tray and cook for 5-8 mins in an oven preheated to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas 4, checking often. Remove, leave to cool, and store in an airtight container for a few days. Alternatively, the crumbs can be frozen.
  2. Add the leeks, olive oil and butter to a non-stick pan, sprinkle with a good pinch of sea salt, and cook on a low to medium heat until soft, lightly caramelised, and sweet.
  3. Add the garlic, and cook for a further minute or two. Add in half the chopped herbs, and stir again.
  4. Add the beans and stir to combine, before adding about 200ml of the stock and a good grinding of black pepper.
  5. Stir again, bring to a simmer, and cook for about 15 mins, adding more stock if the beans get a little dry, or if you prefer a looser texture. Check for seasoning, and adjust accordingly.
  6. Serve the beans in bowls topped with the remaining fresh herbs, a good drizzle of extra virgin or chilli oil, and a sprinkling of chilli flakes, lemon zest, and pangrattato. Add a slice of hot buttered sourdough toast for scooping on the side, or serve the beans piled on top of the toast.

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